Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Greener by the Day

Just a little celebration of my most recent green success. I've made it my goal to reduce my recycling without increasing my garbage output. I'm purchasing whole, unpackaged foods wherever possible, stopped buying canned pop(stopped drinking it actually, haven't had a diet coke or any other pop since December) by purchasing a little differently, being more aware, no more bottled water, by doing little things like that I've been trying to reduce the output of plastic, paper and cans that leaves our home every two weeks.

On average we put out a bag of garbage a week and 4 big bins of recycling every 2 weeks. This was recycling week. I went through the house, collected the recycling, the garbage and when it was all collected I had two bags of garbage(one from last week, oops forgot) and only half a bin of plasic and cans and half a bin of cardboard and paper and a bag of shredded paper that has been collected over 4 weeks. I cannot believe how much difference it has made simply by buying bulk and reusing containers whenever possible.

Recycling isn't a bad thing. It has it's place and it's certainly better than dumping things willy nilly into a landfill but the goal is to reduce waste overall, less packaging to be recycled because recycling has a cost, its own footprint and is not ideal. I'd like to get us down to zero footprint but the kids and their craft-making, picture-drawing, scissor-practicing, inside winter fun have made it a losing goal(sorry earth). It's been a long winter but they do less of that type of thing once they get outside regularly.

It's very satisfying knowing you've helped a little and it's so easy to do. The little things I've done have saved us money, helped the earth a bit and encouraged me to do even more.

I'm not new to green living and over the course of my life I've been somewhat aware, I used cloth diapers on 3 out of 4 children, use a chemical-free cleaner that gets put into reusable spray bottles, hang clothes to dry, drive less and less to conserve gas, drive the speed limit. I'm just making one more step to be less wasteful.

Next goal for me, making a composter. I'm a little ashamed we don't already have one. And this spring I'm getting a clothesline installed as well. It's been too dusty the past two years since we've lived here to do so but the building in our neighbourhood is into a third phase and the dust will hopefully be minimal this year.

I feel an overwhelming sense of debt to this planet that provides me and my family with all we need for sustanance and an even bigger sense of guilt for how I've neglected and abused her in the past. Making amends is my goal and I'll be gentler to Mother Earth from here on in.

3 comments:

Audrey said...

YEAH! I am one of those notorious "tree huggers" from Vancouver. I love when people GET the environmental thing!
Thank you for helping to save out planet Breeze!
Big hugs,
audrey

willow said...

Good job! The cleaning and purging thing must hit us in March.

I didn't see the face you saw until you mentioned it! Big and smiling! Wow. Thanks for pointing it out to me. I need to track down a photo of the woman who died here.

nollyposh said...

Do you know a friend told me about her friend who takes off all her packaging at the supermarket before she leaves... although i don't suppose that helps really... i think we need to put pressure on the companies themselves tOO... One rule i teach my kids (or annoy them with!): if it's in a packet, it's dead food, and you need "live" food to keep your body ~alive~ (ie) fresh fruit & vegies